26 Jun 2011

PM says EMA head's sick day comments regrettable

4:10 pm on 26 June 2011

Prime Minister John Key says comments made about women taking time off work when they have their periods are regrettable.

Northern Employers and Manufacturers Association chief executive, Alasdair Thompson, last week suggested women earn less than men because they take time off because of their periods and for childcare.

He has since apologised and says he now believes gender plays no part in how productive a person is or what they should be paid.

Mr Key, on his way to India for an official visit, says as an employer, he has never noticed a difference in the number of sick days men and women take.

He says New Zealand is a country which prides itself on the role of women in society - and is proud of having had a woman Prime Minister, Governor General and Chief Justice.

Mr Key says what happens to Mr Thompson now is a matter for the EMA board.